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If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you’ll know I’m a huge fan of Herbal Academy. I’m enough of a fan, I’ve signed up for their affiliate program. Their classes are intense, full of in-depth knowledge, their videos feel like you are hanging out with good friends, and their printed material is beautiful.
The first class I took with Herbal Academy was their Herbal Fermentation course. I had brewed beer, wine and whiskey at home before, but never knew beer could be brewed without hops or grains, but with herbs instead.
The videos in class, and the printed materials had delicious recipes (like blueberry mead!!) but they also give you a basic recipe so you can experiment. This was one of those experiments!
The basic herbal beer recipe is an herbal tea – of whatever herbs/herbal combination you’d like – sugar or molasses and yeast. Done!
Herbal beer combines benefits of drinking something fermented (like kombucha) and the medicinal properties of the herbs you use.
I wasn’t aiming to treat anything medicinally with this beer, but was more interested in capturing the scent and taste of early summer. My lavender was blooming, and my friend had an abundance of lemon balm she wanted to give away. (So much, in fact, I dehydrated some for tea AND made a lemon balm tincture).
However, if you’re looking to treat any ailments with this beer, check out my materia medica on lavender and lemon balm. Try this beer if you suffer from:
- General pain
- Menstrual cramps
- Mouth ulcers
- Muscle cramping
- Alzheimers and dementia
If you’re interested in learning about how to make your own materica medica, check out Herbal Academy’s short (and inexpensive!) Materia Medica Course.
If you have lavender left over after making your beer, check out my 9 ways to use lavender around the homestead post.
The lavender and floral scents are what hit your nose and mouth first. The molasses gives it a deep, dark, rich flavor but the lemon balm lifts it and gives it just enough acidity to let you know you’re drinking an ale. It smells divine, and is perfect for a hot summer night.
The richer, darker notes of the molasses make it a great beer for early Fall, or those summer nights that have just a hint of a cool breeze. If I wanted to drink it earlier in the summer, I would probably swap the molasses for white sugar to lighten it up.
Now onto the recipe!
Lavender Lemon Balm Beer
- 8 cups water
- 1 Tbsp fresh lavender flowers
- 1 cup dried lemon balm leaves
- 1/2 cup fresh lavender leaves
- 3/4 cup molasses (or white or brown sugar)
- 1/2 packet of yeast
- Steep the lavender and lemon balm in hot (but not boiling!) water for up to two hours.
- Strain out the solids through a cheese cloth or coffee filter.
- Warm the herbal tea back up and add the molasses. Heat, stirring, until combined.
- Remove from heat.
- Depending on the yeast you use, you may have to add the yeast when the tea reaches a certain temperature, or is completely cold. Add the yeast according to the directions.
- Let ferment in a glass jar with an air lock for two weeks.
- After two weeks, sanitize your bottles.
- Charge each one by adding 1 tsp white sugar to it, and filling it with the herbal beer. This will give it carbonation.
- Wait at least another week before drinking.
- Cool before drinking and Enjoy!
Now it’s your turn! What have you been brewing lately?